Menu toggle

National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer


Walka design from Ernabella


Walka design from Ernabella

Object information

Physical description

Multi coloured abstract design on a pale cream ground. The design is composed of irregular forms that touch or overlap and are loosely arranged to create an open, dynamic composition. The forms have a combination of lobed, curved and wavy edges that terminate in points. The lobed edges have an olive green band, a narrow teal green band with white dots, and inner red and orange bands, all of which follow the contours of the edges. There is one on the right with three long spines and a pronounced curved hook. Three long, narrow, wavy forms are infilled grey/blue with white dots. One crosses the centre open space diagonally and has a lobed 'flower' form at either end. A triangular-shaped form on the left is infilled deep blue, as is a lower 'flower' form. The remaining forms are infilled pink or orange. There is a thin, black, wavy line running horizontally in the lower left corner. The artist has signed in the lower right corner.

Statement of significance

The collection comprises a broad range of objects including batiks, pokerwork carvings, paintings and pastel drawings on paper and other art and craft items, bibles and school readers in Pitjantjatjara, drawings by school children, photograph albums, videos and a small number of stone implements.

The collection is significant for the depth and range of material associated with a single Aboriginal settlement at Ernabella, now known as Pukatja, its art centre and with Deaconness Winifred Hilliard who was the Arts Advisor to Ernabella between 1954 and 1986. The collection largely dates to this period. Along with other material previously donated by Hilliard, this collection documents the history of Ernabella and the women's art movement there between, but not limited to, 1954 and 1986.

Object information

Back to top